Lots of interesting reads over the last couple of days as the Blue Jays season is slowly going down the toilet. Should John Gibson be fired? Will he be fired? Who makes the call? Here we go:
Damien kicked off his coverage with a blog post:
“Still, the nice thing would be to bring back Gibbons, right?
Except it’s time for Beeston and Anthopoulos to stop being nice guys and deliver a winning ballclub after this underachieving catastrophe of a season.
Start being disliked around baseball if that’s what it takes. If they need an example to follow, look at Jim Popp with the Montreal Alouettes. He realized he’d made a terrible hire with Dan Hawkins and ended the experiment quickly after five games.”
Damien Cox then he had a good summary on Tuesday”
But a manager who was here before and didn’t win much, and then was inexplicably re-hired by a GM who seemed to be looking for a path of least resistance after the John Farrell debacle, has returned and hasn’t won.
Not all his fault. But the record is the record.
And it hasn’t just been the starting pitching. It’s been lazy, dumb baseball. Bad defensive baseball. Tons of strikeouts by players who won’t change their approach. An alarming number of passed balls. Idiotic baserunning. An inability to move runners along and even bunt. Players more focussed on Twitter criticism than improving their game. Hitters staring down teammates at third base for falling to score on short fly balls and thus denying the hitter an RBI.”
Cox had another column today:
“The Jays are in last place and Gibbons on most scorecards would rank fifth among managers in the five-team division, but that’s OK by Anthopoulos, who announced Tuesday that regardless of what happens the rest of this season, Gibbons will be back.
How ridiculous. The season has been horrible and might yet get worse, but Anthopoulos decided to make this announcement on Aug. 27 rather than waiting until season’s end and evaluating his options.”
Richard Griffin hit the nail on the head in his summation today:
“The bottom line is that it will be Rogers ownership that has the final say on who will manage the Jays in 2014.
If the power in the tower believes that bringing Gibbons back will be too costly in terms of selling the burgeoning Blue Jays brand across the country, if the anonymous people in charge feel that bringing the low-key Texan back as manager will hurt the product on the field and in the market-place, the decision could be taken out of Anthopoulos’ hands.”
Doug Smith chimed in today too:
“So what do we make of the pronouncement last night by Alex Anthopoulos that he’s sticking with John Gibbons next year come hell or high water or more Josh Johnson starts?
I’m fine with it.
I believe it’s a total knee-jerk reaction to suggest that, as bad as this season has been, the manager needs to be fired and I think Anthopoulos did exactly the right thing by coming out now fully in support of Gibby.
The issue, at least from this vantage point and I fully admit it’s from afar, is not managing, it’s personnel and that’s on the GM far more than its on the manager.”
Tom Maloney of the Globe and Mail:
“John Gibbons is an all-too-convenient symbol, rather than the underlying reason, for the Toronto Blue Jays’ woes this season, general manager Alex Anthopoulos said in announcing Gibbons will be brought back for the 2014 season.”
Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun had a lengthy account of the disaster:
“Anthopoulos is, in fact, responsible for the calamity that has been this Jays’ season and, upon further review, it is his work that should be scrutinized before that of Gibbons. This is Anthopoulos’ fourth year on the job as general manager — as one of the hardest-working people in baseball — but this is, barring a final-month turnaround, the fourth consecutive year in which the Blue Jays will win fewer games than they managed the year before.
They won 85 his first year, 81 the second, 73 last season with John Farrell managing, and now this — where 73 wins seem like something of a long shot.”
Bob Elliott chimed in:
“Is Gibbons to blame? Partially.
So are the players.
So is general manager Alex Anthopoulos, who overhauled the roster.
Everyone is to blame.
Yet, the manager is the easiest to pin the blame on in baseball.
If the Jays fire Gibbons it will be four managers in five years: Gaston, John Farrell, Gibbons and the next guy.
And it’s two bad hires by the GM in three years: Farrell may win manager of the year in the American League, but giving a guy a three-year contract and his first managerial job and having him want to bolt after one year is a bad hire. Even if he stayed two years.”
Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca:
“In pledging that John Gibbons will be back as manager in 2014, Alex Anthopoulos clearly showed that he isn’t looking for any shortcuts, or settling for easy answers to fix his wayward Toronto Blue Jays.”
Dirk Hayhurst of Sportsnet.ca :
“Farrell came to Boston before the major roster moves of his present club were made. Maddon got to oversee the entire rebuild of his Rays. Gibbons was, essentially, handed a team that was supposed to run itself, in an organization that was full of developers picked by someone else.
This leads me to postulate that Gibbons was selected as a Yes Man to the Anthopoulos’ super-tools team experiment. All these great players, all these incredible skills, all in one place. The Jays needed a skipper that could help them gel. Gibbons was it.
But the experiment has failed. The team, though talented, cannot police itself. It has gelled into a losing culture. Now, if anything, it needs a hard-ass to step in and rock the boat, but there is no incentive for Gibbons to play that role since it was never in his script, nor was it what he was cast do to.”
Israel Fehr of Yahoo offered an opinion:
“A winning culture is only as good as the players on the field.
Firing Gibbons would be incredibly short-sighted. It would be an emotional decision and sharp deviation from the plan and vision devised by general manager Alex Anthopoulos and the Blue Jays front office this off-season.
Anthopoulos showed his commitment to Gibbons as his manager going forward by negotiating a contract that ensures that he would never be in position of only having one year left on his deal.”
Not that you care, but here’s my two cents. I am not a baseball stat guy. I don’t know what half the stats even mean let alone be able to quote them like Gord Stellick can tell you who the Maple Leafs drafted 9th in 1984. I am a fan. I like to watch the team. I couldn’t stand Gibbons the first time he was manager and I echoed my displeasure when he got rehired. That, to be honest isn’t based upon a whole from a statistically standpoint except for one thing; sports is a business and you either perform or you don’t. Managers and coaches are paid to get the best out of the rosters they are handed. They get fired each and every year for their inability to do that. Does he deserve to be fired? Is it all his fault? I don’t know. Most mangers, coaches don’t ever deserve to be fired. It’s always on the players. Either you win or you don’t.
I will tell you this. Beeston and Anthopolous are totally out of lives in my mind. What ever good will the sockless genius from the previous regime and the nice looking smiling brainy wonder kid GM had is gone. Their records, to quote judge Smeils.. SSSSSSucks. Injuries, poor performance…whatever. This is there team. This is there franchise. Attendance goes up and the number of wins goes down. True, all will be forgotten if they win soon. Does anyone believe these two can deliver? What happens if the ticket sales start to slide? Answer honestly, if you bought, and I mean reached into your own pocket and bought tickets this year, will you buy again next year?
I was a sucker this year. I paid for MLB at Bat. I watched most of the first @#$#@$@! games of the season. I don’t think I’ll be buying again next season until way into it.
To me, the Anthopolous era can be summarized by all the times he’s said, “things have to get better, players can’t keep continuing to perform at this low a level”. Well, 1 year is a fluke. 2nd is a ??????
Time for the boy wonder to put up. He’s right he’s to blame. Question is will anyone hold him accountable?
The good news is there is passion for the team. Here in Seattle? Crickets.